It wouldn’t be a trade show without a little bit of extreme thinking, to grab some headlines and show the punters how creative their engineers are.  As part of our Computex coverage, we’ve seen all manner of graphics cards – at the high end of the spectrum, we’re seeing custom AMD and NVIDIA cards that supposedly push 600 watts!

From ASUS, building on the ‘halo’ of the ROG Mars, the Republic of Gamers branded Mars II is being shown – a dual GPU featuring two 580s on one PCB in a triple slot format.  There’s no mention of clock speeds, but we’ve been told that it’s due in July with a limited run of 1000 units. (ed: this is the same quantity as the Matrix 5870X2)

Featuring a DirectCool heatsink arrangement, ASUS are claiming a 25% speed increase over a GTX 590.  As you can imagine, this product will run loud and hot, and there is an air of ‘why?’ hanging in the air – the only vaguely reasonable answer I can give you is for overclocking records.  The 600W maximum power consumption figure comes from the three 8-pin PCIe connectors each potentially pulling 150W, along with the PCIe supplying 150W.  If you end up getting one, just make sure your PSU can handle it.

From Powercolor, we’re seeing a technological showcase with what they call the 6970X2, bringing the X2 name back into the scene (unofficially).  This PCB uses a Lucid Hydra chip (rather than a PLX) for routing to combine two full-speed 6970 chips powered by the three 8-pin PCIe to give that magical 600W number.  

They had a pair of these cards in Crossfire into a system for us to look at, even though with CPU and everything else, there was only a 1200W Gold PSU powering it all, possibly suggesting that the power consumption is below 600W, and performance is only a few percentage points higher performance than the 6990, if any.

We were told that Powercolor don’t have intentions to bring this product to market unless they see a demand for it – they were more inclined to show off a 6950X2 which should enter into the market between the 6970 and 6990 in terms of performance.  No word on pricing or release, though.

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  • AmdInside - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Summer is the wrong time to release these suckers. My house gets hot enough as it is with a single graphics card. Release these in the winter time when my house gets cold and it will double as a home heater system. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Thankfully it's Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. (Australia.) xD

    Don't really see any need to upgrade my 2x unlocked 6950's at this stage, roll on the Radeon 7000 series!
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    "6950X2 which should enter into the market between the 6970 and 6990"

    There was a time when GPU naming conventions made sense. The X2 part is slower than the 6990? Adding the X2 back in is on Powercolor and not AMD of course, but they shouldn't have dropped it in the first place.
    Reply
  • KineticHummus - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    It does make sense here. 6950X2 essentially means two 6950s. a 6990 performs better than two 6950s. Therefore, a 6990 is better than a 6950X2. X2 does not mean it is better. It means there are two of that chip on one card. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    I know. I just think the 6990 should have kept the x2 moniker. Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    600 possible customers Worldwide.

    I'm actually mildly irritated by all this focus on the extreme high end. It distracts from where the action really is, which is is the low to middle segment.
    Reply
  • qhoa1385 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    well
    Powercolor was just trying to showoff those bad boys anyway
    " ... Powercolor don’t have intentions to bring this product to market unless they see a demand for it – they were more inclined to show off a 6950X2 ..."
    Reply
  • lurk1n g00d - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Makes sense,; there really aren't that many games that would make it a worthwhile purchase atm IMO. Reply
  • nyran125 - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    doesnt make any sense to me accept to jus tgo wow look at that. Because Crysis 2 is backwars technology adn Modern Warfare 3 or BAttlefield 3 isnt going to require anythign more than a AMD 6870 , so i dont see any reason fo ultra high end video cards. Reply
  • nyran125 - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    and i dont meen 2 6870's either. one 6870 can run all the games out today on MAX. Including the The Witcher 2. So its a waste of time. Reply

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